What is The Karaethon Cycle?
Updated: Jan 17, 2022
The name comes from Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time series. For those of you who don't know what The Wheel of Time is, well, I'm surprised you're on this page but quite happy to welcome you to the series!
The Wheel of Time is an epic fantasy series written by Robert Jordan, and completed by Brandon Sanderson after Jordan's passing in 2007. It tells the story of the Dragon Reborn, the reincarnation of an ancient hero, fighting to succeed where his predecessor failed and usher the world into a new age. It's a grand and epic tale, beloved by fantasy fans around the world for its well imagined world-building, gripping plot, and engaging characters.
The Karaethon Cycle is the name given in-universe to the prophecies of the Dragon Reborn. As such, it's a fitting title for my own project: A screen adaptation of the Dragon Reborn's story that remains true to the essential tones of the series, while modernizing certain elements for today's audience.
In 2021, Amazon released the first season of a TV adaptation of The Wheel of Time.
Fans of the show argue - and I think correctly - that it provided some much needed modernization to a good, though dated, work of fiction. I think readers of the series can all agree that the portrayals of gender in particular needed some updating. The show's embrace of queer relationships, the gorgeous production value, the depth of its villains, Rosamund Pike's Moiraine, Abdul Salis's Eamon Valda, and Sophie Okonedo's Siuan Sanche, were other high points of the eight episode season.
Critics of the show contend - and I think with merit - that character development was lacking for several members of the main cast, the tone was too dark, and the pacing was often rushed or confusing.
I want to be very clear on one point. I don't believe as some do that these narrative issues are due to any deficiency on the part of the show's staff or cast.
As a long time writer, I understand how difficult the craft is. At the time of this post, having written my own version of the pilot for this series, I now also understand that adaptation is an equally if not more difficult endeavor. So I have nothing but respect for the creative minds behind the show for taking on a project of this magnitude.
I think the show's essential dilemma was trying to adapt the Wheel of Time to the screen without adhering closely to the well-woven narrative of the books. In my opinion, an adaptation that more closely followed the essential tone of the books would fix many of these problems.